Mortgage Observer

Shaoul Grabs $71M for Kips Bay Dorm

340 East 24th Street (PropertyShark)

Ben Shaoul received $71 million in construction funds to build his Kips Bay dormitory project, the developer confirmed to Mortgage Observer. The prolific buyer and his partner bought the building last December.

The three-year loan, backed by 340 East 24th Street, was provided by Santander BankRead More

Mortgage Observer

What Happens if J.P. Morgan Shuns the FHA?

Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan

Earlier this week, straight-talking J.P. Morgan chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon vented his frustration on an earnings call, threatening to stop doing all mortgage business with the Federal Housing Administration, which insures many loans originated and securitized by his bank.

Mr. Dimon expressed his reticence—asking rhetorically “should [J.P. Morgan] be in the FHA business at all?”—following $600 million in fines recently levied against his firm for making defective loans. That punitive fine invoked so-called triple damages, wherein the bank owes three times as much as the value of the bad loans.  Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

City Officials, SL Green Respond to Grand Central Landlord

Vanderbilt Corridor

A week after a contentious Department of City Planning hearing on the Vanderbilt Corridor proposal to rezone five blocks in Midtown East, City Planning officials and attorneys for SL Green Realty Corp. doubled down on their view that the proposal won’t block Grand Central Terminal landlord Argent Ventures from selling the historic property’s unused air rights.

With Argent and preservation advocates raising tough questions about whether a go-ahead to build the One Vanderbilt office tower adjacent to Grand Central without buying any transferable development rights from Argent would hinder needed aid to a city landmark, SL Green lawyers and city officials responded with a full-throated defense of the plan. Read More

Sales Beat

SL Green to Sell Three Manhattan Assets

180 Broadway. (PropertyShark)

SL Green Realty Corp. has agreed to sell three of its Manhattan assets, the real estate investment trust announced today. The deals, for 2 Herald Square, 180 Broadway and 985-987 Third Avenue, will generate net cash proceeds of $240 million, according to a press release.

The REIT will sell the leased fee interest in 2 Herald Square for $365 million. SL Green acquired the interest in joint partnership in 2007 before consolidating its position in 2010, the landlord said. Read More

Foreclosure Auctions

One Madison Sponsors Win Retail Space at Auction

One Madison at 23 East 22nd Street.

Related CompaniesCIM Group and HFZ Capital have acquired the commercial piece of their One Madison, the condominium at 23 East 22nd Street formerly called One Madison Park.

At a foreclosure auction held this afternoon at the State Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street, the three companies submitted the winning $3 million bid for the lone commercial unit in the building, which is between Broadway and Park Avenue South. There were no competing bids. Read More

Lease Beat

Three Leases Signed at 30 Cooper Square

30 Cooper Square. (PropertyShark)

Three leases have been signed for a combined 45,500 square feet of space at 30 Cooper Square, according to a release issued by Cassidy Turley.

Cooper Union, a privately funded college with administrative offices in the building, renewed its lease of 26,000 square-feet of space with a term upwards of five years, according to a representative for Cassidy Turley, while two, new 10-year leases have been signed by 72andSunny Partners and S Plus, Inc. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

One Vanderbilt Gets Advisory Nod from LPC

One Vanderbilt

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission lent their advisory support to the design of SL Green Realty Corp.’s potential 1,350-foot One Vanderbilt tower during a public hearing yesterday on whether the company’s schemes will form a harmonious addition to the site adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.

After a presentation on the building’s look, its planned public space and the company’s vision of how the glass base of the building would fit into the historic area, officials with the city agency who examined the company’s schemes as part of a 2010 Bowery Savings Bank building development rights purchase by SL Green gave their backing to the proposed Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates skyscraper as a welcome addition to the landscape. Read More

853 Broadway

The Plan: 853 Broadway

Rendering of 853 Broadway.

Last week, landlord The Feil Organization began removing the scaffolding at 853 Broadway, a building that come the holiday season will be home to a new MAC cosmetics store.

Feil’s Brian Feil, the vice president of leasing, and Robert Fisher, the director of commercial leasing at the building, talked to Commercial Observer about the company’s $10 million-plus renovation project spanning the first five floors of the property. Construction at the site, at the corner of 14th Street and Union Square, began about a year ago. Read More


Four Contiguous W’burg Buildings Available for $9.54M

949-959 Metropolitan Avenue.

Four East Williamsburg residential buildings at 949-959 Metropolitan Avenue have hit the market with an asking price of $9.54 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

The four, four-story, 24,000-square-foot contiguous buildings contain 32 one- and two-bedroom rent-stabilized (and one rent-controlled) units bringing in a monthly income of $46,089, about 50 percent below market rate, according to the offering memorandum by Brooklyn-based EXR GroupRead More

Power Broker

Down to a Science: John Cahill of Colliers International

John Cahill of Colliers. (Aaron Adler)

As the son of a doctor and a nurse, broker John Cahill may have been predestined to work in the medical field in one form or another. Fresh out of Syracuse University, the New York native first chose pharmaceutical sales as his field of choice.

Initially lacking the required experience, Mr. Cahill spent one year at ADP learning the ropes of a sales role and in the process picking up both his employer’s Rookie of the Year award and an expense-paid trip to Hawaii. Read More

Cover Story

Leading Beyond LEED: NYC Buildings and the Evolving Fight to Consume Less Energy

803 Knickerbocker Avenue.

One of the country’s first hyper-efficient affordable multifamily passive houses was failing a basic evaluation early this month and nobody on architect Chris Benedict’s Architecture and Energy Limited team could figure out why. When the innovative foam-and-stucco structure at 803 Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick couldn’t hold up to the blower door test that’s a standard Read More

Lease Beat

Media Company Inks Midtown South Relocation

1140 Broadway

Media company F+W will soon move a half mile southwest of its current home at 38 East 29th Street into an 8,500-square-foot space for ten years on the entire 14th floor of the Roos and Cohen families’ 17-floor building at 1140 Broadway in Midtown South, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company chose the building with asking rents in the mid to high $50s per square foot after searching for a new location that would help foster innovation in the changing media landscape, said F+W’s Chairman and CEO David Nussbaum. Read More

Hotel Beat

Brooklyn Hotel Demand Growth Back on Track

Rendering of Holiday Inn Brooklyn Nevins Station.

For the first time since Superstorm Sandy forced people out of their homes and into hotels, quarterly room demand comparables are positive, data provided by lodging industry benchmarking services firm STR to Commercial Observer indicate.

Demand for hotel rooms increased year-over-year each month in the second quarter. Prior to this April, the last month there was a year-over-year increase was in September 2013. Read More